Mark Quail

Lawyer/OwnerMark G. Quail, Barrister & SolicitorIntellectual Property and Technology

Mark has been a lawyer since 1990. His practice is restricted to music related matters. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mark worked as a band roadie and music journalist.

Mark has been a lawyer since 1990. His practice is restricted to music related matters. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mark worked as a band roadie and music journalist.

His legal career has been divided between private law practice and in-house counsel for music companies. From 1990 to 1993, he was a litigator at Pacey, Deacon, Spears and Fedson in Toronto, making regular court appearances on behalf of commercial and corporate clients, all the while developing a clientele of musicians. From 1993 to 1994, he was head of Business and Legal Affairs for EMI Music Publishing Canada. From 1994 to 1997, he returned to private practice at the entertainment law firm of Paul Sanderson & Associates. From 1997 to 1999, he was head of Business and Legal Affairs for the music division of Alliance Atlantis Communications, then Canada’s largest film and television production company. From 1999 to 2001, he was President and head of A&R of Song Publishing Inc., then Canada’s largest independent music publisher. Since 2001, he has been in private law practice.

Mark’s work in the music business includes negotiating and drafting all manner of music agreements, such as recording contracts, music publishing contracts, film and TV composer contracts and management contracts, both domestic and international. He has advised musicians and music industry executives on career development in Canada, the United States and Europe.  He worked with and co-owned Distort Records, which was home to platinum-selling Canadian recording artists Alexisonfire. Mark served as executive producer on the soundtrack album for the two-time Oscar nominated film The Sweet Hereafter. In previous years, Mark has represented such electronic music institutions as Beatport and Digitally Imported (streaming radio). He currently advises leading electronic music stars such as Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Art Department, John Acquaviva, Matador, Pleasurekraft, Mathew Jonson and Shaun Frank. Mark currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Association for Electronic Music.

He is a co-author of the legal textbooks Entertainment Law in Canada and Canadian Forms & Precedents – Information Technology & Entertainment, both published by LexisNexis. His podcast “The Music Law Podcast” (available on iTunes) is trendsetting. He appears, regularly, as a panelist or moderator, at various music industry conferences, including ADE in Amsterdam, Winter Music Conference in Miami and the International Music Summit in Ibiza, Spain. He has lectured academically on music business matters at Toronto’s Trebas Institute. He has also served as a television cultural commentator on CBC Newsworld and various internet radio shows. 

Mark also produces electronic music and has had releases on Black Nation Recordings (USA), Frequenza (Italy), Secret Weapon Records (Canada), Deep Tip Records (Canada) and has tracks licensed to European and Japanese dance music labels.


  • The University of British Columbia, LL.B., 1988
  • University of Toronto, B.A., 1983

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 1990